Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Massey Harris Memories
I came across an old photo I'd forgotten existed, showing me on the tractor with Dad and two sisters in the trailer.
It's remarkable how simple things will trigger the most intense memories. As soon as I saw the picture, I remembered the feeling of driving the tractor at that age (probably 10 or 11); sitting on the edge of the seat, pushing the clutch and brake pedals with my bare feet.
The Massey Harris Colt was the second of three tractors my dad owned in his lifetime. It was the only one he bought new (in fact, it was one of the few things he ever bought new), and it was the one on which I grew up.
I learned how to drive on that tractor; first, how to steer, then, as time went on, how to start and stop, shift gears, back up and, eventually, feather the throttle coming up over the hill with a full load of hay. Even today, when I use a tractor, I can still hear Dad's voice coaching me.
I've always had a soft spot for the Massey Harris brand as it played such a large role in my growing up. Just recently, I found a Colt in Quebec and have added it to the collection.
The rest of my family roll their collective eyes a bit when the topic comes up in conversation but, the grandchildren hold out great promise. The two oldest can now steer (sitting on Poppa's lap) and they know how to turn off the engine. Whenever they visit, driving the tractor is high on their list of things to do.
With four grandchildren, my hope is to have each one on a Massey Harris for a Canada Day parade. 2020 should be the right date; they'll be seven years older and I'll need that much time to get them restored.